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Women’s History Month: Leilani Van Hoomissen

March 01, 2024

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Leilani Van Hoomissen
Interim Manager, Legacy Medical Group-Vascular Surgery

For Leilani Van Hoomissen, helping others through a career in health care happened slowly and organically and with the help of a number of inspiring women: Teachers at nursing school, mentors at Legacy Health and members of her family.

The Wisconsin native, currently the interim clinic manager at Legacy Medical Group−Vascular Surgery, is one of many women working in health care at Legacy, women who deserve to be spotlighted during Women’s History Month.

For Van Hoomissen, the number of women who have inspired her are many. Most of her instructors in nursing school at Oregon Health & Science University were women who taught her about caring for others and being a valued professional. In a Legacy career that currently spans 22 years, Van Hoomissen has been further moved by the examples of a group of Legacy leaders: Cindy Hill, the now retired chief nursing officer at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel; Melinda Muller, Legacy’s chief medical officer; and Lori Farrell, chief medical officer at Legacy Medical Group.

Of Farrell and Muller, Van Hoomissen described them as leaders who have “always kept an optimistic eye while dealing with the realities of working in health care.”

Of Hill, Van Hoomissen said the retired leader made everyone feel “welcome and supported” and was the kind of boss who promoted and supported all of her staff. 

Van Hoomissen manages and oversees an entire vascular surgery clinic. In the role, she also mentors and develops the talent of her staff. The examples of past teachers and bosses provide a template to encourage her staff and bring out the best in each individual. The managerial role is less hands-on in regards to patients compared to her earliest days as a nurse. But the love of caring for and nurturing people remains at the core. As it turns out, all three of Van Hoomissen’s sisters work in health care, too — two are nurses, one is a medical social worker.

Van Hoomissen was initially interested in art history while an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin−Milwaukie. But she ended up taking classes in psychology, enjoyed them and eventually received her degree in it. Then she was pulled into the health care universe.

Van Hoomissen’s mother and father worked as a nurse and doctor, respectively. She also worked in the office of her father’s clinic during college. There was something special about helping others that stuck with her during these years. Van Hoomissen pursued a graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling, also at her alma mater, then took a job helping people with disabilities.

Later, she moved to Oregon to get a nursing degree at OHSU. After graduation, she started her career at Legacy. Here, before assuming her current role, Van Hoomissen worked as a float nurse in inpatient pediatric critical care (as part of the critical care float pool) and as a case manager at a primary care clinic, among other stints.

Throughout, she’s been invigorated by the curiosity that nursing demands — “learning all kinds of new things,” she says. Ultimately, Van Hoomissen believes, the lure of health care is about caring for others.
Professional photo of Leilani Van Hoomissen outdoors among green foliage - thumbnail image

blue quote

I love taking care of people. I think that kind of feeling never goes away.

Women's History Month

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